Watch the Sussing Sus Chords online guitar lesson by Rich Maloof from Guitar 201: Breakthroughs

Here's where we start to crack open melodic and harmonic possibilities for your playing. You've probably seen “sus" or suspended chords in guitar charts and tabs. The two types: sus4 and sus2.

Sus chords are at the heart of some very simple, very identifiable guitar hooks: think of the Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling” (E to Esus4), The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” (Bsus4 to B), or Rush’s “Fly By Night” (D to Dsus4) for a sampling from classic rock.

They have a sound that hangs or suspends the chord's harmony because they (usually) replace the 3rd of the chord, which determines if the chord is major or minor. Suspended chords are airy and free-sounding. In the next clip we'll look at how you might put them to good use, and then we'll talk about suspended barre chords.

See the Chart for a variety of voicings.